I was 25 years old, single, very naïve and had not considered researching cultural differences that I was likely to encounter.
The ladette era of the 90’s prompted females to demand independence and if they wanted to have a one night stand and walk away in the morning, they were going to do it, whether their public reputation was tarnished or not.
We explore dating, engagement, love and marriage in Turkey and all its glorious variety. But in Turkey's more rural communities the old traditions still live on: arranged marriages, strange rituals like womens’ single status being “advertised” with an empty bottle on the roof of a house (a man would knock the bottle off in order to be assessed for marriage suitability - by the woman’s father, of course).
In general, even in larger, less conservative cities, dating is a serious enterprise, and there isn’t a lot of casual dating going on.
Oddly, an “I love you” comes quite early on - and it’s followed by romantic gestures to prove the strength of your love.
That could be flowers, gifts or big romantic gestures.